Tom Coughlin Press Conference: 12-12-05

Q: How is Antonio Pierce? A: All of the tests are being run right now. They are sore, they are gimpy, they are limping around today. I don't know what the final statement is going to be, but until I get the MRI's and all of that business straightened out, just stick to the injury as I indicated last night - ankle for Antonio.

Q: Is it safe - without looking too far into the future- it is safe to say you are not anticipating him for this game?
A: I don't want to say that at all until I get the facts. If I say something and it is incorrect, this guy is a guy that has fought his way back from things before. I am not expecting anything miraculous here. But I had rather state exactly what the doctor tells me.

Q: Are any of the four - particular McKenzie - ones that might seem to worry you more long term?
A: I am worried long term on all four of them, really. I hope Kareem that can be a guy - you mentioned Kareem - that we can get back in a short amount of time. Obviously it would be great if we could get him for this weekend.

Q: The back trouble that Luke is having, is that just something that he is going to experience from time to time and have to fight through?
A: From what I understand that has been kind of the way it has been. There wasn't any real warning signal here. All of a sudden it just became a factor in the game. He was playing well and all of a sudden he wasn't playing at all. And they termed it that his back locked up on him. He felt during the course of the game that he was making some progress. But it would have been a most difficult thing to have someone else go down and have to go back to Luke to see if he could go, because I really don't think he could have.

Q: Given that you were down to no reserve offensive linemen yesterday, do you think that will change your thinking about either (a) activating Seubert or (b) adding more offensive linemen to your roster?
A: No. I don't think so, no. This is like 10 years of this and studying other teams and their inactives for 10 years, anyway, this is the way most people do it. It was most unfortunate yesterday. Percentage wise it just doesn't happen. It did happen. I give great credit to David Diehl, for example, who did get dinged on that one play that I took the time out regarding, for hanging in there.

Q: What would have happened had he not been able to hang in there?
A: We have one of our defensive linemen that have basic knowledge of what we are doing. It would cause you to really change to a much simpler form.

Q: Have you ever had a defensive lineman to have to play offense?
A: I never have, no.

Q: Are any of those injuries less serious than you had though?
A: Less serious? I don't know. Wait until I hear the information.

Q: No good news yet?
A: Good new? No, nothing yet.

Q: Which defensive lineman would have been the one that would be the one who would have played on offense?
A: I reserve the right to mention that name.

Q: When you looked at the films of yesterday's game, the trouble that you had had earlier with stopping the run, how much of that was related to Pierce not being in there?
A: Well, obviously, Pierce has been the guy that has been the connector between the front and the secondary for the entire year. And it didn't help matters that he wasn't in there. However they blocked us yesterday. They blocked us, they got to the corner; they got to the edge. We were out of position some, particular in the first half. And any time somebody rushes for that much yardage, it is a huge concern to you, because that is the very thing that we have addressed week in and week out - is the primary thing that must be stopped is the run.

Q: Some of the linemen were saying yesterday that they have meetings weekly sort of like refresher courses where they go over each other's responsibilities to prepare for contingencies like this. Is that a weekly part of their training?
A: Yes. If there is more that the individual can do, the better. In other words, for example, when we go center-quarterback exchange, we have Snee out there. We have, of course, O'Hara. We try to train Seubert. Guys do try to become multiple in what they can do. Of course, David Diehl has been a tackle and he has been a guard. I don't ever think it is easy for a guy who has prepared himself to play a position, but he did it with poise and just simply made the smooth move to the outside and actually played pretty well.

Q: Is this defensive lineman - whoever it is that you would fact in - is he involved at all in any of this?
A: The meetings? No

Q: How do you get him ready?
A: He just visits with the offense line coach basically and has a few plays that he could be able to execute if he had to go into the game. But there is not real time spent there, no.

Q: Knowing that you are likely, I know it's definite yet, on the playoffs, but you are likely to extend you season, would you be more cautious with guys now, in general, with injuries?
A: Usually we are. I would stay strictly with the medical people, whatever they feel has to happen is going to happen. And that is basically the way it has always been. There are many games to play here, with three games to go and all really critical games. We have made the statement before about our division. This is a very, very good and competitive division and to stay where you want to be you have to keep winning and you have to keep playing. So I would want - as soon as our people are cleared medically - I would want them back in the mix.

Q: Did Whitfield - he was called for a bunch of penalties yesterday - did that concern you?
A: Well, it concerns me in that actually both of our offense line substitutes counted for the majority of the penalties. But some of them were - the obvious were the false starts - that is not hard call to make. I just think that if someone thinks it occurred, I have to say we are a part of the green zone and the noise and the fact that the play was, on occasion, changed at the line of scrimmage, which is no excuse, which we have done before with both of those guys being veteran players. But nevertheless they happen. And so therefore I am concerned. Because, again, the ugly part of our game showed up with regard to that. When you look at the frustration that comes from someone that has the ability to come in real early Monday morning and look at the game, and again, is the fact that we are kicking field goals of 21, 24 and 27 yards. Which means, take 8 yards away and that is where the ball was; and add 10 from the goal line. So we are talking about being in there real close. And touchdowns are the difference there. I thought a couple of times, when we could have gone up by 10 points, how important and critical that would have been - a touchdown in the second half rather than trading field goals; anything like that makes a difference in a game.

Q: Tiki and Eli both said after the game - they both expressed concern about the red zone problems - but really didn't have an answer. Do you know why that has been a problem lately?
A: Well, the execution part of it is something that concerns me a lot. The penalties that backed us up in situations like that - for whatever reason - a penalty, a lack of execution, a lack of gaining two more yards rather than being tackled at a certain point, being able to come up with a big play down in there - all of those things are critical factors. We obviously stalled there. And I don't want to make too much of this because obviously the second half - the majority was played with two guys that are not normally in there. You are always talking about continuity, but if you are in the third-down area or the green zone, it has really got to be continuity. I just think there are any number of things that have to continue to be improved upon, whether it be accuracy or whether be blocking the backside. A couple of times yesterday had we got the backside blocked properly I think the run would have gone in.

Q: Is that an important, or telling stat - so many stats they are throwing around - as far as red zone, as a coach, do you look at that and say, 'That will depend on whether or not we are a winning team?
A: Well it doesn't right now because we kicked four field goals and won. But I like to think that touchdowns are coming away with --- I am not going to argue with points- anytime you get points is good --- but I think you should look back on --- for a couple weeks now, without going overboard on this, we have left touchdowns out there on the field that could have made it very difficult for the opponent to be close at the end. The way I look at it always is, in trying to put the thing all together, we didn't have to have those interceptions at the end of the game.

Q: Even with all of that - the flags and things - do you still the get the overwhelming feeling of the resiliency of this team?
A: Oh yeah, no question. There is no question that it stood yesterday. Because I didn't think it was anywhere near as sharp a defensive game as we have played and we were able to come back and make some critical plays when we had to. I didn't think our special teams were quite as physical as we have been. Yet we were able to make a couple of plays in the game that were obviously critical. And we did have the injuries to key players which we have not had all year long. Four starters went down relatively quick at the same time and guys came in the game and gave us a chance to win.

Q: The Eagles probably could have had six interceptions yesterday if they had held onto the ball in the first half. Are some of these throws that Eli is making the result of repetitive, sort of fundamental mistakes?
A: That keeps coming up. There are all kinds of things that are involved in that. There is judgment, there is decision making, there is fundamentals. It is difficult to consistently just generalize about that. Sometimes there is a guy at his feet and he can't follow through. And then you say to yourself, "Well, why is that ball high?" We started the game off with the ball being high yesterday. And it took me back to fundamentals, but there were a couple of times when people were at his feet and he couldn't follow through. So you say that but I could flip that one you and tell you that if there were three balls that could have been intercepted by us, we would have had four. We had balls that were thrown down the middle of the field. Two were pop ups. Go catch the ball. These things can be said on both sides. In the heat battle, sometimes that is the difference. All of those plays have to be made.

Q: Are you concerned, you obviously talked about one of them was Corey Webster - where the ball was in his hands and then in Reggie Brown's hands. But the two that Webster has had in his hands that have gotten away.... with him and let him work through those things?
A: Well, that is all you can do is keep coaching him. He was in perfect shape. He might have had right hand and his right arm hung up on the receiver's arm and couldn't really get it around there. I have to think that if he could of; he would have extended his arms and maybe had a better chance to catch the ball. But the ball got up against his --- and was trapped on his body and started bouncing around, rather than - when you feel like you have the interception get away from the defender. You have you body between the receiver and the ball, but when you have him screened, give yourself a little bit of an advantage, perhaps coming back away from the defender, from the receiver in this case - and catch the ball.

Q: Do you have any issue with Whitfield playing right tackle if need be?
A: He has played both. He has been on both sides and he has bailed us out of games on both sides. I don't have an issue with that, no.

Q: Is there a point where Tiki can be overworked or do you expect him to be able to carry this amount?
A: Well I think he can. We have tried to be very aware of his catches and his carries. Yesterday I think he accounted for 195 total offense. His number did go up from the week before a little bit. But you know what, you have to understand now, you end up playing five quarters. You are trying to win the game - late in the game and in overtime. We had 85 snaps yesterday. That is a lot of snaps in professional football.

Q: Are you concerned, Jacobs got stopped twice on third-and-one. Are you concerned about that package and how he is doing it or anything?
A: No. Because I think he was in the end zone both times. Once he was for sure.

Q: Do you have to start thinking more creative with offense in the red zone now; trying different things to jump start?
A: No. This is now the second time I have heard this one, so this must have come from somebody in the media, 'we have to be more creative.' I think the creativity is there. I don't think we are executing in that particular zone the way that I would like to and although we do a good job, a really good job against pressure, it seems as though in certain situations the pressure will afford us some kind of play that doesn't end up being executed the way we want it to. Yesterday we had one that we got called properly. Eli adjusted the protection and everything would have been fine except that because we had made so many adjustments up front, we didn't block it the way we really wanted to and that would have given us a key first down that I think would have kept us on schedule. I think execution is more important than creativity. Although if you look closely yesterday you saw two or three things that you hadn't seen before that didn't get executed or completed for one reason or another. So the ideals are there, I think. I just think we are - whether it is the opponent's resistance or our own - we are not completed. I go back to the fact that that defense is a good defensive football team, with maybe one or two guys, at the most missing.

Q: Now that Jay Feely had his four for four day on field goals yesterday, could you share with us, was there an adjustment that he did make in his kicking or is it just simply that he hit the ball well?
A: No. If you watch the game closely you saw him improve while the game was going on. He did have two touchbacks yesterday. He kicked the ball well; he seemed to have very good timing. I thought his fundamentals, as far as where his plant foot was, and his head and his follow through, and all of that, seemed to be in order yesterday. I think he played himself right back into a very solid game.

Q: You have a short week this week, which is bad enough. But you are playing a team that you are really not that familiar with. How much harder does it make it to get ready?
A: Well it is a difficult thing, without a doubt because we are not familiar with playing this team. Now, fortunately for us, in our offense research we do study everyone we are going to play and we do have some knowledge about Kansas City. But I think it is a short week and we have an awful lot of learning, studying and teaching to do about this opponent. So it happens this time of year in the NFL. We just have to do the best we can with it.

Q: How much of an impact on playing call did a makeshift offensive line have?
A: It forced us to do some things differently, without a doubt. We tried to stay as much with the plan as we could. Between the two goal lines - 437 yards is not a bad day. But I think the fact that we left some points out there leaves that part of it on your mind. And you don't ever want to finish with the interceptions.

Q: Of the four guys who are in limbo right now because of their injury status, which of them, if any, can actually afford to miss two or three practices, even this week, before you go into the game, and still play effectively?
A: Well, we will worry about that when we find out the status of these guys. The simple answer is that it is difficult for anybody to miss practice and play the way you want them to play. That is a very difficult thing to do. We have played a lot of games this year, they have practiced many times. Hopefully we will get some good news. Let's worry about what their status is going to be first.

Q: Are there any other players other than those four who have injuries that concern you?
A: We have some nicks, obviously, but I don't think there is anybody who is going to miss any time. Although Jaamar Taylor did bang knees last week in practice and it is something that we didn't even realize. And then on Friday he came in with a swollen knee and they did some work on that. He does have a bone bruise there so I am not sure how much work he is going to get this week.

Q: Is that the same knee that has been causing him some problems since Dallas?
A: That is the ACL knee, yes.

Q: What about Shaun Williams?
A: Shaun will try it again. I don't know how effective he will be, but he will try it.

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